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Towards Tourism Sustainability: General Aspects and Empirical Evidence of the Italian Experience at Decentralized Level, with Specific Reference to Sicily


  • Cassar Silvana


  • Creaco Salvo

    () (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania Corso Italia 55, Catania 95129, Italy)


Even though the concepts and observations underlying sustainability are not a novelty, sustainable development was given impetus and made popular in 1987 by the Brundtland Report. This report introduced development policies and strategies that acknowledged the importance of resource and environmental constraints and the limitations imposed on growth patterns. Although sustainable development proved difficult to define and make operative, the concept was progressively applied to those economic sectors which had major detrimental effects on income, employment and wealth. Sustainable tourism was effectively one part of the effort to take full account of the current and future economic, social and environmental impacts of the sector, addressing the needs of visitors, industry, environment and host communities. After reviewing the main questions referring to the environmental, economic and social aspects of tourism development, this paper tries to identify a balanced indicator showing the impact of tourist accommodation facilities and related infrastructure in Sicily in terms of the three fundamental pillars of sustainability. Based on this indicator, the ranking of the nine Sicilian provinces is provided. In a wider perspective, the proposed approach is applied to make a comparison of tourism sustainability in Sicily and in other Italian regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Cassar Silvana & Creaco Salvo, 2016. "Towards Tourism Sustainability: General Aspects and Empirical Evidence of the Italian Experience at Decentralized Level, with Specific Reference to Sicily," Baltic Journal of European Studies, Sciendo, vol. 6(1), pages 95-138, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:vrs:bjeust:v:6:y:2016:i:1:p:95-138:n:5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cristina Santini & Alessio Cavicchi & Leonardo Casini, 2013. "Sustainability in the wine industry: key questions and research trends a," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-14, December.
    2. repec:eee:touman:v:36:y:2013:i:c:p:342-353 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sandmo, Agnar, 2014. "The early history of environmental economics," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 10/2014, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    4. Solow, Robert, 1993. "An almost practical step toward sustainability," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 162-172, September.
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